Imagine this: you’re in a psychedelic rock band in the ’60s. You open for the Grateful Dead, Muddy Waters and the Doors. In 1969, before ever releasing an album, the band breaks up-you cut your hair, get a job, join the establishment. Then more than 30 years later a record label finally comes calling. Far out, huh? But that’s what happened to the members of My Indole Ring, a Vancouver-based groupnamed after the chemical structure found in hallucinatory drugs.
Nearly three years ago, Thomas Hartlage, who runs a German label specializing in psychedelic reissues, happened to see CBC footage of the band performing in 1968. He was impressed. Hartlage tracked down the foursome and offered them $1,500 for the rights to release their music. “After more than 32 years we weren’t going to argue over money,” laughs drummer Chris Dahl, the design strategist at the University of British Columbia. “We didn’t exactly have people knocking down our door.” Hartlage pressed a batch of limitededition My Indole Ring vinyl LPs last November that are already sold-out. And this week the band will have its first full-length CD, with 13 tracks, released in Germany. Canada’s Neptoon Records & CDs will begin distributing it in June. The music comes from several demo and live tapes that the band’s singer-songwriter-guitarist John King, saved in his basement.
“We’re lucky the stuff still exists because it was just on quarter-inch tape in cardboard boxes,”says Dahl. “It was amazing they were still playable.”
The band’s organist, John Cluff, died two years ago. But the three surviving members, including bassist David Jordan-Knox-all of whom are now in their 50s-have since laid down about 20 new tracks and would love to play a couple of their old venues. Time to break out the tie-dye.
The fifth man
One of the indignities former prime minister Joe Clark must suffer during Question Period these days is being belittled by the current PM as “the leader of the fifth party.”That may soon change. After Rex Barnes’s byelection win in the Newfoundland riding, Gander-Grand Falls, Clark’s Tories picked up a seat. But they didn’t move up the House of Commons pecking order, since the NDP also gained a seat with Brian Masse’swin in Windsor West. That lifted the NDP to 14, still one betterthan the Conservatives.
But the Tories have another shot at shaking the fifth-party stigma. Inky Mark, who deserted the Canadian Alliance last summer over Stockwell Day’s leadership, and remains the only rebel to refuse to return to the fold, says he’s thinking of joining the Tories. First, he’ll wait for the results of polling his constituents in the Manitoba riding of Dauphin-Swan River; and he’s also interested in what platform changes are made at the Tory convention in August. Mark told Maclean’s he prefers to run under a party banner, and not as an independent, and added that he won’t go back to the Alliance. That leaves Joe’s Tories-who with Mark’s seat would be tied for fourth. Of course, that’s assuming Clark remains. He’s put his Rockcliffe home up for sale and news reports last week, denied by the leader, suggested he may soon step aside. If so, theTories will have to keep on bringing up the rear.
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